Friday, July 30, 2010

Roxie's Story

Many of you who will read this already know that our Shiba Inu, Roxie, had her leg amputated this week. As promised, here is the whole story, beginning to end.

I want to say in advance that we're not abnormally attached to our pets. We both grew up in Kansas, where putting down animals was a part of everyday life, especially on a farm. But we understand that when we bring them into our home, we have a responsibility to keep them healthy. And they're one of God's creations, too!

As I wrote last year, we gave Willow, our basset hound, to Tony's brother at Thanksgiving. Two dogs was just too much for me to handle in addition to the twins. Willow is enjoying her new home, and they love her! We were so excited to dog-sit while they went to camp last week, and we did thoroughly enjoy having Willow back with us for a little while!

On Wednesday, Tony left the dogs in the backyard when he left for work. When I came home from visiting my sister at about 11 am, Roxie was gone. One or both of the dogs had gone crazy -- unlike anything I've ever seen from either of them -- and chewed a hole in the fence, big enough for Roxie to squeeze through, but not Willow.

We searched for Roxie, hung up flyers, and knew that if anybody found her, they would call the phone number on her collar ... but by Saturday, we understood that we might not see her again.

Here's the email that I sent a few friends and family on Saturday afternoon:
Wanted to give an update on Roxie -- we got a call today from a family that had just found her behind the school that's a few blocks from our house. She had been hit by a car, probably immediately after she got loose on Wednesday. The family took her right to the emergency vet and then called us. Her rear leg is in very bad shape and has lots of maggots in the wounds, but she doesn't have any broken bones. They'll keep her at the hospital until Monday, when we'll make a decision on whether or not to have her leg amputated.

Obviously, our biggest concern is financial. We feel strongly that it wouldn't be right to put her down, since it's only a leg injury. However, all of this care will still be more than we ever expected to pay for a pet. We're really hoping that the leg will show enough healing over the weekend that we don't have to pay for an amputation. *sigh*

Then, I sent this email on Sunday morning:
Another update: after the vet started cleaning the wound last night, she decided that we'll have no choice but to amputate. Right now, they're trying to tell us that they will amputate immediately on Monday morning using their surgeon, so before that happens, we are trying to either 1) find a surgeon who will do the surgery for less, or 2) find an animal organization who has funds to help us, which we know exist. However, it's nearly impossible to reach anybody on a weekend.

We know that, technically, the surgeon can't do anything without our consent, but who knows what they'll do without it?

We've pretty much decided that if we can't figure something out, we will give Roxie to a rescue organization who can give her the medical treatment she needs. We're still paying NICU bills, and we
will not go into debt to save a dog. But it's still an emotional decision.

We had paid in advance
for the vet to keep her until Monday, but after I wrote the previous email, we found out that the bill for her care had gone up significantly -- and it was going up every time we asked. We had to make a decision immediately.

Tony stayed home from church while I went to church with Tony's brother and his family. He called the two rescue organizations that we were referred to, and neither was willing to help us financially or take ownership of Roxie. So he went back to the vet and told them that what we had paid so far was all that we could afford, and unless they were willing to work with us, we were prepared to euthanize her. They wouldn't budge, so they brought Roxie to Tony in a "comfort room", along with the paperwork to euthanize.

I got a text message in church from Tony saying that we were out of options, and we agreed that I would come to the vet by 1 pm to be with her when we put her down. When I was about 2 minutes from the vet -- literally within half an hour of putting her down -- I got another text message from him, saying that the emergency vet had suddenly agreed to reduce their bill in the amount of the amputation! Basically, what we had paid for her weekend of care already was what we would be paying for all of her care plus the amputation.

When I spoke to the doctor, she said that she knew in her heart that Roxie wasn't ready to go. We found out later that each doctor has a special fund that they can use to help patients, and this doctor used hers on us. We're so thankful for her.

Roxie had her leg removed on Monday, and we brought her home on Tuesday. She's doing great -- you would think she had been walking on three legs her whole life! We're happy to have her home.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cotopaxi Beach

I visited my sister a couple of weeks ago, and we seized the chance to go to a beach on the Arkansas River for the afternoon. It was the first time this summer that the twins had been "swimming"! It took them both a little while to get used to the feel of the cold water and the texture of the sand, but as soon as they adjusted, they couldn't get enough of it!

Can you see the kayaks in the background?
All the cousins, having fun together!
Phew! All that play means we need a snack.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

VanHorn Visit!

I was going to post almost exactly the same thing as my sister-in-law, Jenia ... so just hop over to her blog to see the pictures!

We always enjoy the annual VanHorn Visit -- they spend bookend weekends with us, and go to church camp in between. We get to show them why we love Colorado!

Here's one Jenia doesn't have: a picture of Grandma and Grandpa with the twins. See you soon, VanHorns!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Girlfriend Getaway 2010

My college roommates and I have taken a trip together every year since we graduated. Well, almost, because last year I was caring for premature twins on oxygen, so we skipped it ... but I think that's a fair excuse. :) This year, our destination was Chicago, so we headed out over the Fourth of July weekend. We had so much fun! We ate, shopped, went to the beach, ate, went to a Cubs game, toured, ate ...

We also did an awesome job of traveling on a budget. I earned all the money for my trip by doing online surveys, shopping through Ebates, and submitting for grocery rebates, among other things. We booked our hotel on, the girls from Kansas rode the Megabus to get there, and we got very proficient at the public transportation system. I even hand-stenciled the shirts that we wore to the Cubs game, instead of paying for overpriced fan t-shirts!

(Whitney, me, Heather, Katie ... I heart you guys!)

Of all the places we went, I had the most fun at the Cubs game, Molly's Cupcakes, and Garrett Gourmet Popcorn ... and I'm probably forgetting a few other favorites. Yes, it's getting a little obvious that I love food. I'm looking forward to next year ... any suggestions on a destination?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grocery University Sale

Grocery University couponing course

Okay, this one's for all my friends who read my blogs about couponing and would like to jump in (or improve their form)! Grocery University is having a 3 day sale! I have personally "graduated" from Grocery University and LOVE it. Really, it's like my easy listening album on my iPod. :) It's designed for couponers at all levels, and I would especially recommend it to beginners who are a little overwhelmed.

Normally, it's $25, but today only, it's $9! That's nothing -- you WILL save $9 on your first trip to the store after buying this! Tomorrow the price will be $12, then on Friday, it will be $15, then back up to full price again. You can't beat this, plus you'll get a bonus that nobody else has ever received -- including me.

I have a button over on the right-hand side of my blog now -- click on it when you purchase so Grocery U knows who referred you.

Happy Couponing!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fever Pace

Yesterday and today, for the first time in her 400+ days of life, Hadley has a fever. It topped out at over 103 degrees yesterday, but it's been coming down ever since, so I'm just letting her sleep, eat, and drink on her own schedule, and we're waiting it out. Teeth, maybe? Nothing else seems to be wrong with her, and she's been pretty happy.

Since Hadley has been sleeping most of the day, however, I have an added dimension that I've never really experienced before: taking care of ONE child! Leila and I spent most of the day hanging out together without Hadley. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: parents of single children have NO idea what my life is like. To be able to wake up, snuggle over a sippy cup of milk, give undivided attention during meals and playtime, work on new skills, read books, and snuggle together again before nap time sounds like fiction to me. But today, I got a glimpse of it! It might actually exist! :)

(Leila helping me load the dishwasher. She's pulling herself up now!)

This story may sound grand so far, but here's the twist in the plot: Leila missed Hadley. She honestly didn't know what to do without her playmate. She needed me a lot more than either of them needs me on a normal day. She wanted to be held, to have my company while she ate, and to be in the same room with me at all times. During the hour or so that Hadley and Leila were awake at the same time, our house was filled with giggles and baby-talk. I was able to throw in a quick load of laundry without being missed. I ate lunch!

(Leila/Hadley -- catching up over the newspaper and, well, a thermometer)

So, while my book may have chapters of "singleton jealousy", the ending is always the same: I like having twins. I like my story. And I even have my own Prince Charming. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Crawler #2!

And so it begins -- my life with two crawlers! Hadley's been working, working, working ... but she waited for Mommy to get back from vacation to show off. This video was taken about an hour ago, and she's already galloping all over the house. Tony and I couldn't be prouder!

Now, off to babyproof ... :)